Sep 29, 2011

spending time with the fam (in august)

I don't think I ever posted pictures from my 2 week trip downstate this summer. I caught a ride with my sister Sara and her family as they headed south after visiting family in The Keweenaw. I'm so glad I was able to spend (almost) a week with them since we usually only see them about once a year.

BIL Jon slam-dunking. Look at the kids in total awe. Except the 2-yr-olds...
Orrin doing one of his many tricks. (He landed safely btw.)
"If you make 10 baskets, you can have a four-wheeler." Paul was pumped!
Tug-o-war. Who will win??
Dan stays in it till the bitter end.
Modern day America. I think they were watching a video on Mom's ipod touch.
No photo recap would be complete without a mugshot of Dan the Man!
My little man. I really like this picture but I couldn't get a clear shot.
Riding a 'bike.' Quite possibly his favorite thing to do at Grandma and Papa's!

Sep 27, 2011

Be Kind

I saw this quote on Pinterest today and it just kind of stuck with me. I think about this often as I'm reminded almost weekly that we don't always know what battles a person might be fighting. Throughout the last several years, and maybe it's just a result of becoming an adult, my eyes have been opened to so many people's struggles. Some are open about them, others are not. Some we know, others we don't. For as often as I am surprised by each trial I also realize that they are not alone. I may never know who dreads getting out of bed each morning to face the day. I might never know which close friend battles her demons on a daily basis because she never tells another soul. I do know this, there are certain people who could drive me nuts because I couldn't figure out why there were so unsocial, withdrawn, or just downright mean. As it turns out, I did learn of some of their struggles along the way and it made me ashamed that I hadn't treated with more love and understanding. Often, a person is the way they are because of the battles they have fought. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt these days but I know I often fail miserably. This quote is a good reminder to me that I really don't know what demons each person, whether it be stranger or close friend, encounters each day.

That was a bit heavier than my usual posts, sorry if I left you feeling depressed! It's something that's been on my mind lately.

Sep 26, 2011

the soon-to-be big 'brudder'

My little boy is growing up before my very eyes. I am constantly surprised by the things he says and does. He absolutely loves to read book and only recently figured out how to 'read' by himself. He would gladly listen to me read 37 books in a row so, this new discovery is pretty nice for me. But, sometimes I feel really selfish when I say 'no' when he asks me to read him a book. For some reason, it's even harder when he is okay with it. A few minutes ago, he came up to me with those big blue eyes and held a book out asking, 'read the story?' The sweet little smile on his face melted my cold heart and I did read him a story. Besides looking at books by himself, he has started reciting the words aloud. And most of the time, they are actually words from that particular story. If you haven't read any of Mo Willem's book, I highly recommend them. Right now, we have The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog. There are parts where the pigeon is yelling and I walked in on Adrian 'reading' the story one day, "Not a hotdog. Taste like chicken? I hab a question. TASTES LIKE CHICKEN OKAY!! Okay, okay!" Oh, how I love that boy. Of course, I wasn't able to get it on camera and he wouldn't do it again for me. 
He has also been into dogs ever since we went camping with Jeff's family which included 3 dogs. He has a Melissa and Doug pull-toy dog and he has been dragging it around everywhere and pulling it onto the couch with him. He even calls him Toby which is one of the dog's names. Then I have to pet it, it's sitting right next to me as I type. I just love seeing his imagination at work! 
(He's looking at a "Pooh-Pooh" book right now, btw.)
And now he's telling me to get off the 'puter' so I guess that's my cue!

Sep 24, 2011

Autumn Leaves

I did end up making the leaf garland I was talking about. It was such a super simple project which is so motivating to do more projects. I think I used my sewing machine twice over the summer so we definitely have some catching up to do.

I had a bunch of felt sheets leftover from Easter...I made some animals for Adrian with the intention of making a felt board. I have yet to buy materials for said board. Anyway, I cut out a bunch of simple leaves which took all of 10 minutes and sewed them right up. From the looks of my piles, I thought the garland would be able to double up over my living room window. In fact, I thought it would be even longer than that. Let me tell you, I am a terrible estimator; I was only able to drape it once.

The above picture is my best shot of the garland 'in action.' Even on a dark, gloomy day, my camera is no match for the window.

I'm already thinking about what kind of garland to make once fall is officially over (which seems to happen pretty quickly in this area). Probably pom-poms...Am I the only one excited for Christmas while there are still green leaves on the trees? I blame it on Pinterest of course.

Sep 22, 2011

Southwestern Pot Roast

Jeff and Adrian while camping in Traverse City. Swings are a favorite.

I am quite possibly the worlds worst grocery/meal planner. This morning, I was trying to decide what to make for supper considering I would need to walk to the store before lunch to pick up whatever I would need. A brief flash of Mexican-style food crossed my mind so I flipped through the Magnolia Lane cookbook to find something suitable. I decided to make Southwest Pot Roast (recipe by my aunt, Tricia Johnson) since I already knew that it tastes good and that I had a roast in the freezer. Um, yeah, the freezer. About that...
Since it's a slow cooker recipe, I just put it in the slow cooker with the beef broth on low and ran to the store with my little man to get the rest of the ingredients. Everything else is now nestled in with the beef so I'm crossing my fingers that it's thawed and will cook splendidly!
In other news, I'm into my second trimester and I feel great! Adrian likes to randomly tell me he's going to be a 'big brudder' although I'm not sure he knows what that means. We talk about having a baby live here and he always acts like that's really cool and then goes and throws a doll or something. Okay, I might have made up that last part but he does play with dolls more often than he has in the past. He's learning to sing to them and give them kisses. He gets as far as 'Jesus loves me [mumble, mumble]...'  Aaah, so darn cute.
Well, I'm off to do something creative. I've been thinking about making a fall garland out of felt and I think today is the day!

I thought I had posted this recipe already but I can't seem to find it so, if you're interested (and you should be, it's really good!) here it is (with my notes included):

Southwestern Pot Roast

4 lbs lean roast, trimmed of visible fat (I have made this many times with pork and that also tastes amazing)
1 c. red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 med green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 c. [fat free] beef broth (I always use regular and to be honest, this time I used beef bouillon)
3 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp of cayenne (I'm a complete wimp when it comes to spicy foods so I always substitute paprika)
1 (16) oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I always use black beans because I love 'em and probably a lot more than this because, like I said, I love 'em!)
4 c. frozen corn kernels (I completely forgot to add this one time and it just wasn't the same, the corn adds a nice subtle sweetness.)
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp black pepper, to taste

Season roast with salt and pepper and sear in a frying pan. Put roast and all remaining ingredients except corn and kidney beans into a crock pot on low all day (8-10 hours). During the last 1-2 hours, add the corn and kidney beans.

Tricia's note: This is great with a baked potato on the side (the sauce tastes great on potatoes). For leftovers, it's also great wrapped in tortillas. This is the best pot roast I have tasted so far is healthy to boot.

My note: although this is a low fat recipe as is, we like to add a [rather large] dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar. Yum!

Sep 19, 2011

Walk it out

I have been loving our fall weather! The temperature climbed back up after our cold spell and it's been around the the 60's for the past several days. We have been getting out to walk in the evenings which is always so relaxing and special? because it gives Jeff and I a chance to catch up. Or forces us, but either way, I love it. It almost feels like a date except we're pushing a stroller and every once in a while a little boy will pipe up and add something to the conversation. Jeff was gone the other evening but Adrian and I still ventured out and he totally pointed me on the 'correct' walking route. Over the summer, Jeff would take Adrian out by himself because I was too lazy busy to go and he would check out all the vegetable gardens. So, the other night, I had planned to go straight but Adrian pointed to the left--can't remember exactly what he told me--and was very happy when I listened and then right away pointed out the "gardens!" After that, it was the 'football team!' They weren't actually there at the time but, it was the entrance for the football field which he knew all about since Jeff has already taken him to a few games. Jeff told me that when they were at the game the other night, it got so chilly and Adrian was shivering away but refused to sit in his lap. Mr. Independent. Except for when it's time to go up the stairs, then he always wants Mom to carry him. In a couple more months that's all over buddy.

Sep 16, 2011

Shorter and Wider

I did a quick restyle on these shorts a couple months ago and never posted. Now that we've seen snow, it seemed appropriate to show the pictures...

They started off as knee-length bermudas but that was probably never a very flattering length for my short little legs. Soo, I chopped them off!

I've considered shortening them another inch but since I'll probably never take the time to do that, this is what they will look like. Except, at this point on the leg, I could only fold the cuff under once to sew without it getting too tight so, now there are strings hanging down everywhere but that's okay too. I like them so much better at this length and I wore them way more this summer as a result. I guess it's okay that we were suddenly hit with cooler weather because I think the buttons are going to snap if I put these on one more time with the size of my waist these days...

And for your viewing pleasure:

Lovely, I know. I've been joking about how at 2 1/2 months, I look the same as I did at 5 months with Adrian. I hadn't realized how close I was to the truth, that is little Adrian in there and I swear, my belly is the same size right now.

Have a fun weekend!